Clear Leadership Vision - Interview with Brad Federman
Shelley Baur, Author, Speaker & Workshop Facilitator of Integrity-Based Communications, interviewed Brad Federman:
"I would give all the wealth of the world, and all the deeds of all the heroes, for one true vision."
That was the response Brad Federman gave me when I asked for his favorite leadership vision quote, attributed to Henry David Thoreau.
In a recent conversation about his business, F&H Solutions Group, I asked, “What is your company’s mission?” Brad responded with crystal clarity:
Strengthening brands through culture, leadership and people.
Not surprisingly, Brad’s ideal clients are organizations that believe its people are real assets and that see them as part of their strategy for success in winning, adding, “Typically, they are organizations who want to be the crème de la crème, to stand out. They want to offer better service, quality, and/or more consistency. They desire to be more efficient, not just reduce costs. They want to be better and are willing to push the industry forward. We enjoy working with organizations that have those kinds of characteristics. Those are the people we can partner with to create extraordinary results.”
Vision: To Make A Difference, Have an Impact
Brad went on to say, “It’s never about how big or small a company is. It’s more about…can we make a difference? That is what we care about. So to us it’s more about having an impact. We adapt how we work with a company to appropriately address culture, size, industry and its unique situation. Choosing to work with a company based solely on size just doesn’t make any sense to us. We want to create a better brand through culture, leadership and people and that is not about the size of the organization, it’s about what they’re trying to strive for. And that’s really where our focus is.”
Aligning Vision, People Strategy
Brad Federman believes that all organizations need a people strategy. To him, the strategy is the same as you’d find reflected in a sports game such as soccer, football or tennis.
It’s actually a two-pronged strategy:
“In any competition, you have a defensive strategy and an offensive strategy. Your defensive strategy is all about making sure that no one scores a goal on you. In the workforce, that’s all about how we remain compliant, how to make sure we don’t get sued. And if we do get sued, how do we make sure we can defend ourselves? So we have an area of the business that focuses on that. How do you deal with issues such as sexual harassment, compensation, Service Contract Act (SCA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other leave laws, and many other compliance issues?
There are a lot of companies that now utilize outside resources for investigations and/or fraud. In many cases, they’re outsourcing that completely because it can be done a lot more objectively, efficiently and cost effectively. It allows HR departments to focus on more strategic issues, like how to create a more inclusive environment or how to streamline specific HR processes. We ensure moving forward that companies have a strong defensive strategy and that they, essentially, are covered and that no one is scoring a goal on them.
Second piece is your offensive strategy: how you score goals. In the business world, that’s about how to keep profitable customers. We focus our energy around building a productive and happy company culture through employee engagement and customer engagement issues. If you’re going to deal with these issues, you need to have the right brand promise. You need a culture that supports that brand promise. And you need leadership that can translate that culture to your people and motivate them, so they can deliver on that brand promise.
What F&H Solutions Group loves to do is to help companies with both the offensive and defensive strategies – to create that alignment.
Many companies don’t realize when they have a problem in one area, it could mean we need to focus on another area as well.
All too often, when we’re working on a project – for example, on employee engagement – we find that there are some real problems in the compensation area, or with the policies & procedures. We discover that there’s a message our clients are sending to its employees, saying, ‘We care about you, and we want you to deliver for…’ Yet there’s no transparency about compensation, and the policies and procedures manual reads like a legal, patriarchal document. They’re sending a mixed message. We help clients create alignment, which as a result, creates leverage. That’s the leverage we’re seeking for our clients…so they can truly out-perform their competitors every single time.”
Brad Federman is a true role model for clear leadership vision and specific deliverables, and I'm proud to call him a colleague and friend.
Brad Federman is the Chief Operating Officer of F&H Solutions Group. Brad is an executive, author, speaker and consultant with more than 24 years of corporate experience in various aspects of talent management including performance management and employee engagement, employee compensation, executive recruiting, change management and instructional design. His background also includes sales, marketing, product development and operations.
Brad works with clients to create healthy organizations through employee and customer engagement, leadership, sales and customer service.
In 2009 he authored Employee Engagement: A Roadmap for Creating Profits, Optimizing Performance, and Increasing Loyalty
In 2017 he was named to Forbes Coaches Council, an Invitation-Only Community for Leading Business and Career Coaches. Brad joins other Forbes Coaches Council members, who are hand-selected, to become part of a curated network of successful peers and get access to a variety of exclusive benefits and resources, including the opportunity to submit thought leadership articles and short tips on industry-related topics for publishing on Forbes.com.